Minority business guide launched County NAACP hopes to stimulate development

February 07, 1996|By Ellen Gamerman | Ellen Gamerman,SUN STAFF

A 72-page book could offer a better future for local black-owned businesses.

At least that is the hope of county NAACP officials, who announced yesterday a new African-American Business Directory listing 400 businesses owned by blacks in Anne Arundel County.

The directory is meant to stimulate economic development by identifying a range of businesses for private contractors and consumers across the county.

"Nobody knows about these businesses -- we're just trying to help people find them," said Gerald Stansbury, president of the Anne Arundel chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

To further encourage minority businesses, the local NAACP will hold a business and economic development summit from Feb. 14 to 16 at the Annapolis Holiday Inn. The directories, which will be sold for $14.95, will be unveiled at that conference and made available through churches and businesses.

Wayne Jearld, who runs the local NAACP's minority business enterprise program, began compiling the directory through interviews and phone calls last August. The 20,000 copies of the directory, which cost $22,000 to print, were paid for through donations from local businesses, he said.

This year's directory includes only black-owned businesses. But Mr. Jearld said he hoped that by 2000 the directory would include businesses run by other minorities and operated in Baltimore City and the rest of the suburban counties.

Mr. Stansbury, who is considering holding a "Black Dollar Day" in Arundel to encourage consumers to spend money at black-owned shops, considers the directory a Yellow Pages for the minority community.

"We spend a lot of money, but it doesn't stay in the community," he said. "What we're trying to do is recycle that money and put it to good use."

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